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Coral beach necklaces

String shell and ceramic beads for two lovely looks

I spent the weekend in Naples, Fla., with my family, sinking my toes into sun-drenched sand. My grandma donned her most beloved blouse — a bright shade of coral (“bought it in '83,” she says). Well, Grandma’s favorite color is back in fashion, and strung with a few blue-green shells, necklace number one is begging for a beach party. I then wrapped up a more understated companion piece that still has an air of land-and-sea fun.


Strung necklace 16 in. (41 cm)

  • 5 18 mm shell beads
  • 2 17-in. (43 cm) strands round ceramic beads, in two colors
  • 8–12 10 mm pearls
  • 8 4 mm bicone crystals
  • flexible beading wire, .014 or.015
  • 2 crimp beads
  • toggle clasp
  • chainnose or crimping pliers
  • diagonal wire cutters

Chain necklace 17 in. (43 cm)

  • 7 20 mm twist ceramic beads
  • 8 10 mm pearls
  • 15 4 mm bicone crystals
  • 15–18 in. (38–46 cm) chain, 10–12 mm links
  • 2 in. (5 cm) chain for extender, 8–10 mm links
  • 8 11⁄2-in. (3.8 cm) head pins
  • 7 2-in. (5 cm) eye pins
  • 5–6 mm jump ring
  • lobster claw clasp

Supplies from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores,


Coral beach strung necklace 1
Step 1
Coral beach strung necklace 2
Step 2

Strung necklace: 1. Cut a piece of beading wire. String: pearl, bicone crystal, shell bead, bicone, pearl. Center the beads.

2. On each end, string three round beads in one color, a pearl, and a shell.

Coral beach strung necklace 3
Step 3
Coral beach strung necklace 4
Step 4

3. On each end, string two round beads in a second color and a pearl. Repeat, alternating colors of the round beads, until the necklace is within 2 in. (5 cm) of the finished length. End with a pearl.

4. On each end, string: bicone, shell, bicone, crimp bead, bicone, half of a toggle clasp. Check the fit and add or remove beads if necessary. Go back through the beads just strung and tighten the wire. Crimp the crimp bead and trim the excess wire.

Coral beach chain necklace 1
Step 1
Coral beach chain necklace 2
Step 2

Chain necklace: 1. On a head pin, string a pearl. Make a wrapped loop. Make eight pearl units. 

2. On an eye pin, string a bicone crystal, a twist bead, and a bicone. Make the first half of a wrapped loop. Make seven twist units.

Coral beach chain necklace 3
Step 3
Coral beach chain necklace 4
Step 4

3. Open the bottom loop of a twist unit and attach a pearl unit. Close the loop. Make seven dangles.

4. Cut a 15–18-in. (38–46 cm) piece of 10–12 mm-link chain. Attach a dangle to the center link and complete the wraps.

Coral beach chain necklace 5
Step 5
Coral beach chain necklace 6
Step 6

5. On each side, skip a link and attach a dangle unit. Attach the remaining bead units to every other link, completing the wraps as you go.

6. Check the fit and trim chain if necessary. On one end, open a jump ring and attach a lobster claw clasp. Close the jump ring.

Coral beach chain necklace 7
Step 7
Coral beach chain necklace 8
Step 8

7. On an eye pin, string a bicone and make the first half of a wrapped loop. Open the bottom loop of the eye pin and attach a pearl unit. Close the loop.

8. Open an end link of a 2-in. (5 cm) piece of chain and attach the necklace chain. Close the link. Attach the dangle unit to the extender.

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